As we enter the heart of the holiday season, we feel blessed and fortunate for everything in our lives. We were so happy to collaborate with Wayfair on a project that would give back to our community and bring happiness to those who deserve it most. With Christmas fast approaching, we felt this was the perfect time to share this project with you all.
Earlier this year, Wayfair approached me to be a keynote speaker at their Trade Services Workshop held during Boston Design Week. This was shortly after we rebranded and launched our new website so I was thrilled! It was the perfect opportunity to share our newly gained insight on the world of branding as well as start to build a relationship with a Boston-based design powerhouse.
Shortly after the event, we received an email from Jessica, the Marketing and Brand Manager at Wayfair, about an upcoming charity project they were working on in Jamaica Plain. The KMID team and I had just been discussing a way to get involved within the community and this project fit the bill perfectly! We wanted to help out in any way possible, utilizing our skill set in a way that would benefit the community around us. It was a match made in heaven.
Wayfair was planning to makeover a local preschool and was looking to partner with an interior designer to help them make the most of the project. The chosen preschool for the makeover was Horizons for Homeless Children in Jamaica Plain. The selected classroom cares for 15 children from local shelters while their parents are either working, attending school, or a work training program.
Wayfair has a large assortment of pre-k furniture providers on their site that they worked with to get the products donated or discounted. Our job was to layout the room to maximize function, and choose the furnishings, finishes, paint colors, etc. People are always asking us about our design process, so although this project was a little different for us, I though this was a good chance to give you an inside peek!
Our first step was to meet with the teacher, along with the Wayfair team, to discuss what goals she had for the new space. Above all it had to be functional for the teacher and students’ needs so it was imperative to walk through the space with her. Alison and I took rough sketches and notes as well as measured the space.
Alison then entered these notes into sketchup, and worked with the room dimensions to create a layout that made sense. Wayfair guided us as to which vendors were participating and donating goods so we faced certain limitations as to what we were able to choose for our designs. Additionally, we had to ensure that all of the items we chose met the safety requirements for a preschool.
We knew we wanted to clearly define the different spaces in the classroom. Part of what created these divisions, were the cubbies throughout the room. We wanted all of these to be different heights depending on their function, but in the same wood tone so as to not distract from the more fun elements in the space. The rugs also helped to divide the areas; for example a star shaped rug in the drama area and a solar system rug in the science area.
Once we had a clear plan, Alison and I presented our design boards and floor plans to Wayfair…
After creating and approving our wish list of Wayfair products, the Wayfair team procured all of the items. Once we had a timeline for when all of our purchases would arrive, we scheduled an install date. On the weekend of installation, 18 volunteers assembled in Jamaica Plain to help with the installation. The KMID team was on site and ready to get their hands dirty…except baby Julia, who was sitting pretty while we all worked :). Check out some photos from the install below.
We are so proud to have worked with Wayfair and Horizons for Homeless Children on this project. Knowing that these kids will have a functional and beautiful space to learn and create is so rewarding and makes our job easy. We will be having a grand reveal in the coming weeks so stay tuned for more complete images of the final space!
UPDATE :: You can check out the full interview, as well as before & after photos, here.